Trailblazers can’t hold second-half lead in loss to Cal Baptist

File photo, Dixie State University vs. Chaminade University, Men's Basketball, St. George, Utah, Feb. 4, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Dixie State succumbed to a late second-half California Baptist rally as the Trailblazers saw their three-game winning streak halted in a 93-82 barnburner Saturday night inside the CBU Events Center.

The Trailblazers (5-5/2-1 PacWest) led 37-36 at the half despite the Lancers connecting for six first-half 3-pointers, which DSU offset by going 10 of 13 at the foul line through the first 20 minutes of play.

Dixie State would start the second half on fire as the senior guard tandem of Trevor Hill and Brandon Simister combined to outscore CBU (8-2/2-1 PacWest) 10-3 over the first two-plus minutes to extend the DSU advantage to eight points at 47-39. Hill scored six of those points in the paint, including a pair of lay-ins to open the frame, while Simister converted a conventional three-point play and added another free throw as part of the rally.

DSU maintained at least a two-possession lead for much of the second half and held a 70-66 advantage with under six minutes to play until a Bul Kuol trey trimmed the lead to 70-69 with 5:02 remaining. Simister answered with a 3-pointer of his own on DSU’s ensuing possession, but the Lancers countered with three more long-range makes as part of a 9-2 spurt to bolt to a 78-75 lead with 3:12 to go.

Dub Price pulled Dixie State to within 78-77 with a bucket on DSU’s next trip down the court, but that would be as close as the Trailblazers would get as the Lancers hit on 13 of 14 at the foul line in outscoring DSU 15-5 over final 2:34 of play to close out the win.

Hill scored 16 of his team-high 20 points in the second half to lead four Trailblazers in double figures. Hill also finished with a game-high 10 rebounds, his second double-double of the year, to go along with seven assists and three steals.

Simister added 13 points and three assists, while Price and Zac Hunter poured in 10 points apiece, and Julien Ducree chipped in a career-high eight points off the bench.

DSU lost despite turning the ball over a school-record low three times, while the Trailblazers shot 41.3 percent (31 of 75) from the field. However, Dixie State was done in from the perimeter and foul line as the Trailblazers were just 2 of 9 (.222) from beyond the arc, compared to a 12 of 28 (.429) night by CBU. Meanwhile, DSU went 18 of 30 (.600) at the charity stripe, while the Lancers connected on 27 of their 33 foul shots, though most of those makes came over the final two-plus minutes of play.

Six Lancers scored in double figures, led by Kalidou Diouf with a game-high 21 points. CBU shot 47.4 percent (27 of 57) from the field and outrebounded DSU by a 43-41 count.

The Trailblazers close out their two-game SoCal road trip Monday night at Concordia-Irvine.

Women’s basketball
Cal Baptist 88, Dixie State 74

The Trailblazers (6-4, 2-1 PacWest) dug themselves out of an early 13-7 hole midway through the first quarter and closed the frame on a 12-4 run to take a 19-17 lead into the second quarter. Ali Franks scored nine points in the first period, including six points during the go-ahead stretch.

The Lancers opened the second quarter with a 9-2 run to retake the lead at 26-21 at the 7:25 mark of the frame. Dixie State cut the lead to one point at 30-29 on a Matti Ventling 3-pointer, and later to 32-31 on a Franks jumper, but CBU responded with consecutive baskets to build a 37-31 lead at halftime.

California Baptist continued the run into the third quarter, stretching the lead to 54-37 at the 5:11 mark. DSU countered with an 18-6 run over the next four minutes to pull to within 60-55 with 54 seconds remaining in the frame. Morgan Myers keyed the run, scoring seven points with a steal, while Mariah Martin added five points. But DSU would get no closer.

The Lancers responded with an 18-2 run over the next four minutes to take a 78-57 lead with 7:11 remaining in the fourth quarter. The teams traded baskets over the next three minutes until DSU closed the game on an 8-3 stretch to run the score to the final tally of 88-74.

Dixie State shot 39 percent (29 of 73) from the field, 24 percent (6 of 25) from 3-point range, and 83 percent (10 of 12) from the free throw line. Martin led three DSU players in double figures with a career-high 24 points to go with seven rebounds and four assists, including a dazzling behind-the-back pass to Taylor Moeaki for a layup late in the fourth quarter. Franks added 17 points and four rebounds, while Kristin Baldwin finished with 12 points and seven rebounds.

The Trailblazers close their two-game road swing at Concordia-Irvine on Monday. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time (6:30 p.m. MT).

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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